Apartment Mystery Shopping in Beautiful New England

As summer temperatures begin to cool, we look for ways to welcome the coming of fall.  The green of summer is beginning to turn into the brilliant colors of autumn.  Bring on the Halloween and harvest decorations and all things Pumpkin Spice!  There is no better place to celebrate fall than in New England!

Some of the most beautiful fall leaf colors can be found in the state of New Hampshire.  Franconia Notch features a 1.5-mile hike called Artist’s Bluff.  It is a relatively easy hike and will reward you with some of the most beautiful views in New England.  The Kankamangus Highway is a 34.5 mile scenic byway which will take you through some of the most spectacular fall foliage in the White Mountains. 

Massachusetts is also known for fall beauty and fun.  Those looking for a road trip to Western Massachusetts will enjoy Mt. Greylock State Reservation.  The summit of the mountain provides a panoramic view of 5 states.  On a clear day, visitors can see up to 60 miles of colorful trees.   If you prefer to stay near Boston, you will still find plenty of scenic color to enjoy.  Boston Commons features oak, maple, and beech trees that erupt into color every fall.  The town of Concord hold both history and scenic wonders.  It is home to the Concord Bridge, Minute Man National Historic Park, and literature’s famous Walden Pond. 

While you are visiting the area, why not take a little time for Ellis apartment mystery shopping?  We have lots of shops available in many areas throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  In New Hampshire, apartment mystery shops are available in areas such as Portsmouth, Lebanon, Manchester, and Salem.  In Massachusetts, we have apartment mystery shopping opportunities in Boston, Salem, Gloucester, Weymouth and many other areas.  Perhaps you could do a mystery shop in the morning before sightseeing in the afternoon?  Devoting one day of a mini vacation to apartment mystery shopping could defray a good part of the cost of your getaway.  If you would like help in plotting a route of shops in New England or any other area, please contact your scheduler or login to your shopper account and search for open apartment mystery shopping opportunities in any zip code. 

Whether you are apartment mystery shopping in your home neighborhood or venturing afar, feedback from shoppers helps apartment managers improve their leasing presentations and the overall customer experience.

How COVID changed apartment shopping-

New Ways to Tour

As we are all aware, the emergence of the COVID pandemic changed how people interacted with each other. It also changed apartment mystery shopping. There are now more options provided for touring/seeing an apartment at the location.  Below are some key takeaways to help you with your post COVID mystery shops.

On-site guided Tours-

For a guided tour, you will tour an apartment (and the amenities) in person at the community with a leasing professional assisting you and leading the tour. Depending on the location of the shop, you may have to wear a mask based on local and/or state guidelines. Also, the leasing professional may not shake your hand due to COVID safety protocols. Make sure you read the client’s specific shop instructions and the questions on the report to ensure you are giving credit as required.

Self-guided Tours-

For this option, you will arrive on-site and hand over your ID and they will give you keys to an apartment for you to go look at and then return the keys to get your ID back. Sometimes you will have the opportunity to talk with the leasing professional after you complete the self-tour. Another option is you login to a mobile application, upload an ID and then you are given a code to a lockbox for you to enter in order to get in to see the apartment.

Virtual Tours-

When a leasing professional talks about a virtual tour this could mean several things.

  • Virtual tour video
    • Is a pre-recorded video of an apartment and/or a leasing professional walking through and talking about an apartment (or amenities for that matter). This is NOT a live virtual tour. This is a video. The video can be personalized which means that the leasing professional videos themselves in a specific apartment to meet your needs and addresses you personally in the video to discuss this particular apartment.
  • Live virtual tour
    • Is where the leasing professional schedules a specific time and date to tour with you virtually. They may use any platform (e.g., Zoom, FaceTime, Google Duo, Microsoft Teams) to conduct the tour. The leasing professional calls or emails you and when you connect/log in the leasing professional takes you on a tour of the apartment (or amenities)
  • Virtual tour walk-through
    • Is where the leasing professional leads you through a virtual tour video while on the phone with you. The video can be emailed to you or something you can see on the website.

What type of tour am I supposed to take?

When signing up for a shop, please look at the client’s specific shop instructions which will indicate the type of shop that is required. If you EVER have questions about the type of shop, you can use the white envelope on your shopper page to contact a team member who can provide clarification about the type of shop.

What Reassign Status Means On Your Ellis Mystery Shops

As an Ellis mystery shopper, you might notice from time to time that some of your shops have fallen into Reassign status. Here’s what Reassign status means on your Ellis mystery shops and what to do to fix it.

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Basics of Being an Independent Contractor

As a mystery shopper, you are an independent contractor and not an employee of the mystery shopping companies you provide services to.  As an independent contractor, the companies you provide services to are not required to withhold taxes from your compensation.   They do not pay unemployment insurance, workers compensation insurance, or take social security withholdings on your earnings.  You are not eligible to receive any tax-free benefits from the company.

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Fair Housing from the Leasing Professional’s Perspective Part II: Family Time

In my last post, I discussed Fair Housing from the Leasing Professional’s Perspective when it comes to questions about safety.  Just like we discussed with the safety question,  leasing agents cringe when asked about the types of residents who live in their community.

Continue reading “Fair Housing from the Leasing Professional’s Perspective Part II: Family Time”

Fair Housing from the Leasing Professional’s Perspective Part I: Safety First

I was a leasing professional for several years before becoming a mystery shopper, and I’ll be completely honest. Dealing with Fair Housing questions is stressful.

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Sharpening Your Mystery Shopping Axe

As a mystery shopper, you have the responsibility to properly prepare for a shop contract before you begin.  Paying attention to the finer points of each shop and preparing diligently will greatly enhance the likelihood that your shopping experience is productive, enjoyable, and runs smoothly.  Continue reading “Sharpening Your Mystery Shopping Axe”

Fair Housing and Apartment Mystery Shopping

Dealing with Fair Housing questions is probably the toughest thing for a leasing agent to master, but it’s important for their management company to know how they are handling Fair Housing questions and situations on the property. Continue reading “Fair Housing and Apartment Mystery Shopping”